With less than three years of Major League service under their belts, it was a matter more of when than if Kris Bryant and Addison Russell would get new contracts for the 2017 season, and on Thursday the Chicago Cubs made it official as they signed both players for the coming year.
Under MLB rules, both players will be arbitration eligible for the first time after the coming season, but both will still play under cheap contracts based on their status as third year big leaguers.
Even still, the contract for Bryant is a historic one. According to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman, Bryant's deal is for $1.05 million for the coming season, and that sets a new MLB record for a contract for a player not yet eligible for arbitration.
Russell and Bryant weren’t the only players to get their contracts officially announced Thursday. Other key members of the Cubs’ World Series championship-winning club were also included in that group, including pitchers Kyle Hendricks, Carl Edwards Jr, and Mike Montgomery, catchers Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber, and infielders Javier Baez and Tommy La Stella.
None of the players were ever in any danger of leaving the Cubs, as all were only eligible to sign with the team through the 2017 campaign.
Here is the full list of players that signed with the Cubs:
Pitchers: Aaron Brooks, Jake Buchanan, Eddie Butler, Carl Edwards Jr, Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, Jack Leathersich, Alec Mills, Mike Montgomery, Felix Pena, Jose Rosario, Caleb Smith, Duane Underwood Jr, Rob Zastryzny
Catchers: Victor Caratini, Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber
Infielders: Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jeimer Candelario, Tommy La Stella, Addison Russell
Outfielders: Albert Almora Jr, Jacob Hannemann, Matt Szczur
Financial terms of the contracts were not disclosed.